Beginning Nov. 13, all veterans' plates with red "V" need to switch to new plate design upon renewal.

New veteran license plate unveiling at Bangor Veteran’s Day concert

Posted:  Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 11:15am
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BANGOR — Stars and stripes will now adorn Maine veterans' license plates, in a new design that will be available beginning Nov. 13, 2018.

The plates will now feature red stripes across the top and bottom with a field of three stars in the upper left, on special veteran plates and disability special veteran plates only, according to a news release.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will unveil the new design during the Bangor Band's annual Veterans Day Concert in Bangor this Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. The concert will take place at the Cole Land Transportation Museum, 405 Perry Road in Bangor.

Sec. Dunlap will speak briefly to recognize Maine veterans and unveil the new plate just before the concert begins at 2 p.m.

Sample plates will be available for veterans to take home as wall-hangers.

The new design continues to allow space for a commemorative veteran decal if desired. Decals available include those that designate the motorist's branch of service, as well as some campaign medals and awards.

These decals will continue to be available for use with the new design. The procedures and requirements for veterans' plates and decals will remain the same and can be reviewed on the Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.

The redesign was developed by a working group, convened by the BMV at the direction of the Legislature's Transportation Committee in October 2017. Members included Rep. Bettyann Sheats, Rep.Sheldon Hannington, Bureau of Veterans' Services Director Adria Horn and Veteran Outreach Specialist Laura Allen, Jay Emerson of the American Veterans Arts and Crafts Gallery (AVACG), and BMV staff.

The new design was chosen because it is easily legible for law enforcement and will cut down on issues such as the "V" on the current veterans' plate being mistaken as part of the plate number, which can result in motorists being charged a vanity plate fee or receiving toll violation notices in error.

The new plate design also uses a unique numbering system, to avoid confusion with other plate classes.

Beginning Nov. 13, all registrants with veterans' plates that display the red "V" will be required to switch to the new plate design upon renewal. Vanity plates will be allowed, and current registrants can choose to retain their plate number in the new design for a fee of $15. The new veterans' plates will be available in most town offices. However, anyone wishing to retain their current number or get a vanity plate must contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Any questions about the new design should be directed to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Registrations Unit at 624-9000, Ext. 52149.

For questions about the Cole Land Transportation Museum event, contact Jim Neville, executive director, at 990-3600.